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TravelInterContinental Auckland review - The Points Guy

InterContinental Auckland review – The Points Guy

Many points enthusiasts spent years eagerly awaiting the opening of the Park Hyatt Auckland, which occurred while New Zealand’s borders were still closed due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, another points hotel was quietly in the works and opened in January.


Situated at the end of Queen Street across from the Ferry Building, the InterContinental Auckland might be the most ideally located hotel in the city for both business and leisure travelers. Not to mention, it’s priced attractively for both demographics.

A last-minute trip to Auckland in April presented the opportunity to check out the world’s newest InterContinental. Here’s what the experience was like.


Getting there

The InterContinental Auckland is across from the city’s waterfront and close to the major thoroughfares of the central business district.


A taxi or ride-hailing service from Auckland Airport (AKL) will take around 30 minutes, depending on the time of day; it’ll range from $35 to $50. The hotel is conveniently close to Te Komititanga, a public square where the Britomart train station is located. It’s at the harbor end of Queen Street, so if you prefer public transport, there are plenty of bus lines servicing the surrounding streets.


If you choose to rent your own vehicle so you can explore the surrounding region or embark on a New Zealand road trip, overnight parking at the hotel costs 70 New Zealand dollars ($42).


Booking details

The InterContinental Auckland is on the small side, with just 139 rooms and suites on its sixth to 11th floors. It only has two room categories, Classic and Premium, and three types of suites; however, the room categories are further classified by the type of view they offer.


The best way to book a stay at InterContinental Auckland is directly through IHG, so you can earn or redeem points and enjoy any elite status benefits.

Rates in entry-level Classic rooms with either a king or two queen beds start at $216 or 39,000 IHG One Rewards points per night. If you find availability, you can put one of the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card’s annual free night certificates (worth up to 40,000 points) toward a stay. I stayed in a King Classic City View room, which starts at $261 per night.

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When booking the InterContinental Auckland, you’ll want to use one of the credit cards that earn the most points for IHG stays, as well as one that possibly offers automatic IHG One Rewards elite status for value-added benefits. These include:

Standout features

  • The property has a phenomenal location in the heart of the city within walking distance of various business and leisure locales.
  • Rooms are sleek and contemporary, with beautiful stone, wood and woven accents.
  • The nightly rates are reasonable, whether you use either points or cash.


  • While it has a business-chic vibe, the hotel doesn’t have a distinctive personality.
  • Dishes at Advieh, the on-site restaurant, are hit or miss and expensive, even for Auckland.
  • There are still some new hotel kinks to work out.

The vibe

Occupying the lower levels of a gleaming new glass-and-steel edifice that anchors the end of Queen Street, the InterContinental strikes a balance between making a statement and blending into the surrounding skyscrapers.

You’ll catch most guests gawking at the dramatic hanging glass installation as they take the escalators from the ground-floor driveway entrance up to the small first-floor reception area. The crowd is a mix of business groups and tourists in town for a night or two. There are also locals passing through on their way to the shops and food court at Commercial Bay — an upscale, multilevel emporium attached to the hotel.

With few public or coworking areas to speak of beyond its restaurant, Advieh, you won’t find many guests hanging around for casual meetups.


You might find it thronged at busy times of the year. However, even when the hotel was mostly sold out, it accommodated my early morning arrival at 7 a.m. by getting a room ready for me; I was able to squeeze in a quick nap before a day out in the city.

The room

My King Classic City View room was on the 10th floor and measured around 375 square feet. It looked out east, over the always-bustling Te Komititanga square and beyond to Waitemata Harbour.


The predominant palette was muted grays, browns and blacks. Wood paneling accents framed the bed (along with a sculptural pendant lamp); additionally, there was a taupe headboard and silvery carpeting that appeared to be inspired by New Zealand’s active geology.

Another uniquely Kiwi touch? The whariki, or woven wall panel, next to the wall-mounted smart TV (with casting capability) was created by the Ngati Whatua Orakei weaving collective.

The room felt spacious thanks to a semi-separate living room area with a small gray sectional; a circular table was topped with white-veined black marble, and a Scandinavian-style curvilinear wooden chair completed the space.

The glass-encased minibar featured a De’Longhi espresso machine, as well as New Zealand treats like Explorer pinot noir from Central Otago and a Marlborough sea salt Honest Chocolat bar.

The room’s entry foyer included a high-profile table — handy for leaving your room key or other belongings — and a bench for donning shoes or dropping a bag. Across from it, a large (admittedly somewhat cumbersome) sliding door rolled one way to reveal the closet and the other to access the bathroom.

Tiled in black stone and anchored by a dramatic marble countertop with a single sink and backlit vanity, the bathroom was elegant but still functional. To one side, a frosted glass door concealed the toilet; on the other side, the walk-in shower had another frosted-glass peekaboo window into the bedroom and an array of full-size Byredo products.

The hotel also stocked various amenities, including dental kits and combs, for guest use. These were thoughtful touches, as were the on-floor water stations so guests could fill provided carafes at their convenience.

The only snafu was a Saturday morning situation where an alarm of some sort had cut off power to the elevators; an escort by housekeeping was necessary to navigate the fire stairs and exit via the ground floor. Hopefully this type of issue has since been fixed.

Food and drink

The hotel’s main (and, for now, only) eatery is Advieh Restaurant and Bar, which sits next to the reception area. There’s another entrance from Commercial Bay for the general public to use.

The restaurant’s name is derived from the Persian word for “spice.” Chef Gareth Stewart proffers a menu of Mediterranean-skewing dishes, many of which feature New Zealand produce and proteins.

Diners can watch chefs prepare their orders thanks to the open-kitchen concept. They can also peruse the crowds passing to and fro on Quay Street from one of the window-adjacent tables.

Diners can sample dishes like crispy kataifi-wrapped shrimp and crayfish with tarragon mayo ($12 each), Lachlan Ridge kingfish with rhubarb and pomegranate ($19) and a dramatically served shish of harissa-spiced wagyu beef with Lebanese toum and pistachios ($18).

The plates deserve plaudits for presentation and creativity but were not all flavorsome. Despite requests to course them out dish by dish so as not to rush the evening, they were all served at once. This meant it was not possible to enjoy each at its optimal timing.

Advieh is also where you’ll find the hotel’s breakfast buffet. It offers plenty of homemade pastries and fresh fruits, as well as hot dishes made to order. However, given the number of trendy cafes and restaurants in Commercial Bay and in nearby Britomart, you might want to venture out for your first flat white of the day.

The hotel will also field a 21st-floor rooftop bar later in 2024 (around September) operated by hospitality group Five Fellas.

Amenities and service

Three months after opening, the hotel was still light on amenities. A fitness center has since opened, but during my visit, the hotel was providing daypasses to a gym called Les Mills.

Les Mills was about a five-minute walk away and had an extensive selection of cardio and weight equipment, as well as classes. It’s a good thing I took advantage since I stopped on my way back to the hotel for some pastries at a Saturday street fair in Britomart.

The hotel has since opened a club lounge where guests can enjoy a light breakfast, bites throughout the day, and evening drinks and canapes.

Out and about

The InterContinental Auckland is truly one of the best-situated hotels in the city, thanks to the plethora of entertainment venues and districts within close proximity. Simply walk across the street to the Ferry Building to catch a vessel to idyllic Waiheke Island, where the only decision you have to make is whether to head to a vineyard or the beach first.

The hotel sits within steps of Queen Street, where you’ll find many of the city’s flagship fashion and beauty boutiques. Walk east a few blocks to get to trendy Britomart; this area has some of Auckland’s most happening restaurants and designer stores. Venture the same distance in the other direction, and you can bar hop along Viaduct Harbour and the Wynyard Quarter.


In compliance with current New Zealand accessibility standards, the InterContinental Auckland offers wheelchair-accessible guest rooms. In-room features include extra turning space for maneuverability, tall-height toilets with grab bars, roll-in showers with handheld showerheads and built-in transfer seats and safety bars.

Some rooms offer visual alarms, while there are audible alarms in the hallways for people who have visual impairments.


All the public spaces of InterContinental Auckland are wheelchair accessible thanks to no-step or ramp entries; there are plenty of elevators with buttons within easy reach. Access to the rest of Queen Street and Commercial Bay is also available via ramp.

Checking out

The InterContinental Auckland is yet another exciting addition to the hotel scene in New Zealand’s largest city. Not only is it reasonably priced, but its small size ensures a personalized experience. Its guest rooms offer an ideal balance between luxury and functionality.

The property’s location at the waterfront end of Queen Street makes it an excellent choice for business travelers, as well as travelers who want a central base to explore the city and its environs.

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